Urinothorax: case report and review of the literature with emphasis on biochemical diagnosis

Respiration. Sep-Oct 2004;71(5):533-6. doi: 10.1159/000080642.


Urinothorax is a rare cause of transudative pleural effusion secondary to obstructive uropathy. We present a case of urinothorax after shock wave lithotripsy and review the literature. A total of 53 cases have been described previously, and in a few of them, the biochemical characteristics of the pleural fluid were detailed. In general, patients with urinothorax have low pH and glucose levels, and their lactate dehydrogenase level can be very high, resulting in misclassification of the effusion as an exudate. The average pleural fluid to serum creatinine ratio reported in 12 cases was 9.15 (range 1.09-19.8).

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exudates and Transudates / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Effusion / etiology*
  • Pleural Effusion / metabolism*
  • Urine*